Wasn’t aware of that about Ali and Rose but I am not surprised.
Well, I didn't know it until he died. I'd watched people revere the guy - and to be fair, he had been a cross-cultural icon with his whole Vietnam War objection, his religion, and a thoroughly likable guy as far as a number of people who idolized him said. It was only after he died that I saw the things I mentioned above for the first time and wondered, "How in the world was this not a bigger story?" But the hard shift in "bury that celebrity" journalism was with Watergate - and much of Ali's career preceded that time, too.
I hope nobody thinks I'm picking on Ali, but it was a stunning revelation to me. I knew Pete Rose gambled, I even knew he was slapped with a paternity suit in 1979 (I remember asking mom in my 9-year old innocence how Pete could be the father of some woman's baby when they weren't married - ah to a more innocent time!). Rose - kinda like Bill Cosby - has turned out be a bigger sleazeball than I ever imagined.
(And btw - for all the iconic love thrown at John Lennon, he beat numerous women, had numerous affairs, and even admitted about a year before he was murdered that he wanted to have sex with his mother, going so far as to say she probably would have allowed it - to say nothing of the hypocrisy of a man who died with an estate worth half a BILLION dollars singing "imagine no possessions").
In all honesty, the only difference now is that a $20/hour reporter can become an overnight millionaire by destroying the reputation of Tiger Woods or Cal Ripken or any of the so-called nice people...all they need is to be given the opportunity.
Back to the obituaries for 2023, but as I said - my charge has long been "don't worship other human beings."
PS - the Walter Payton revelations also stunned and disappointed me